Continued from “Can I Ask You Something?”
8 pm, still outside the library.
“Jake, wow! You’re actually proposing!”
“Yeah, I am. Been too long now. Right? It’s been what, four years?”
“…why haven’t you ever said something?”
“Let’s see. You’ve always been with a guy. How many boyfriends have you had since you got here? Um, there was Nathan, Carl, Danny, Roy, and whatshisface.”
“Hahaha. You’re making me sound like a slut!”
“Whoops. No, I’m not. It’s just that I just asked you to marry me, cause you’ve been single for almost a year now. And I really, really like you. And – hey, where you going?”
“It’s freezing. Let’s go somewhere to talk. And get some food.”
“I like it when you grab my arm like that. Great, and now you let go.”
“Pffffffft. Come on!”
8:30 pm. Some tiny diner. Corner booth.
“Lauren. Are you gonna say something?”
“Do you like kids?”
“What? Of course I do! I want a couple that look EXACTLY like you. Why are you looking at me like that?”
“I, uh, I like you a lot too. There’s something I have to tell you, I just don’t know how to.”
“Well, just say it!”
“No, you’re not.”
“I am. I’m not kidding.”
“No. Just… No.”
“Which is why I haven’t been with anyone for a while.”
“Remember how much I used to smoke? Then I got pregnant. With Joel’s kid. It was an ectopic pregnancy, but I didn’t know at first, until it started hurting real bad, but he was gone by then. And I got it looked at, and they said I’d never be able to conceive again. Cause. It just damaged the uh, tubes. And it was terrible. That’s when I cut everyone out. Started smoking more. And then the next thing I knew, I had… Cancer. Mets everywhere. I’ll barely last the rest of the year.”
“Are you crying? Jake. Stop. Look at me.”
“Just please. I want to be with you. Can’t we stop it?”
“Kinda sorta too late, J.”
“Gimme your hand. The other one.”
“Wait. Wha- oh my God. You were carrying it around the whole time?! It’s beautiful.”
“We’re getting married! In a week!”
“Yikes. Don’t tell the whole place!”
Lauren lost her battle with SCLC (small cell lung carcinoma). But, those six months – the marriage, Jake, everything – were the happiest six months of her life.
If you’re a smoker, and a woman, you really should quit. I’m not here to preach, I’m just telling you that you’re at a giant risk of having ectopic pregnancy. Which is one of the major causes of infertility in women.
As for the SCLC, don’t smoke or encourage it.
Passive smoking is worse than active smoking, the risks are greater when it comes to other forms of lung cancer – the NSCLC (non small cell lung carcinoma). There’s a reason why they say smoking kills. It’s dumb, and don’t do it.